Multiple reports now indicate that Jared Kushner appears to have not only sold out American foreign policy, but provided the names of dissidents as part of an attempt to curry favor with the Saudi crown. In a kingdom that regularly executes opponents, it seems that Jared Kushner may have literally handed people over to die, as well as encouraging the start of a not-so-cold war with Qatar.
Earlier this week, Kushner Companies admitted that they met with the finance minister of Qatar in an attempt to secure funds that could dig the company out of the yawning hole created by Jared Kushner’s ill-conceived $1.8 billion gamble on New York’s most expensive office tower deal.
Jared Kushner’s father met with Qatar’s finance minister three months after President Trump’s inauguration, a New York City session at which funding for a financially troubled real estate project was discussed, the company acknowledged Sunday.
But after Qatar passed on the project—as has every other potential investor—the Kushner companies then claimed that they would not have taken Qatar’s money anyway, since it would have represented a conflict of interest with Kushner’s position in the Trump White House. However, this claim did not stop them from holding the meeting or discussing the project.
Following that meeting, Jared Kushner traveled to Saudi Arabia with Donald Trump, where the pair met with Prince Mohammad bin Salman. Shortly after this meeting, bin Salman conducted a purge of the country in which hundreds, including other members of the royal family, were arrested for “corruption” and bin Salman stepped into line as the next king. And the meeting was also quickly followed by the Saudis and the UAE launching a blockade against Qatar—with the public blessing of Donald Trump.
Now The Intercept, which was first to report on details of the Kushner–Qatar meeting, has another article out showing that the ties between Kushner and bin Salman are so one-sided that bin Salman claims to have Jared Kushner “in his pocket,” and Kushner may have dipped into top secret documents to provide the names of Saudi dissidents.
What happened in Saudi Arabia last June was little less than a coup, with bin Salman usurping the position of crown prince. From outside, the maneuvers that allowed bin Salman to oust his supposedly higher-ranking cousin—as well as dozens of other members of his family and hundreds of people outside the royal family—seemed enigmatic and byzantine. But The Intercept article draws a line that’s chilling.
Until he was stripped of his top-secret security clearance in February, presidential adviser Jared Kushner was known around the White House as one of the most voracious readers of the President’s Daily Brief, a highly classified rundown of the latest intelligence intended only for the president and his closest advisers. … the President’s Daily Brief contained information on Saudi Arabia’s evolving political situation, including a handful of names of royal family members opposed to the crown prince’s power grab, according to the former White House official and two U.S. government officials with knowledge of the report.
The suggestion that Jared Kushner was acting as a direct pipeline between top secret information obtained by US intelligence, and actions of bin Salman is supported by the attitude that bin Salman has directed toward his “fellow prince.”
One of the people [Mohammed bin Salman] told about the discussion with Kushner was UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, according to a source who talks frequently to confidants of the Saudi and Emirati rulers. MBS bragged to the Emirati crown prince and others that Kushner was “in his pocket,” the source told The Intercept.
With his family’s company on the line, entirely due to a harebrained attempt to up the company’s profile through a purchase that no one thought was a good idea, Jared Kushner undoubtedly feels a great deal of pressure to come up with the $1.2 billion that’s needed to save the company before a loan comes due at the start of 2019. In the attempt to fill that hole, Kushner has looked around the globe.
Over the past two years, executives and family members have sought substantial overseas investment from previously undisclosed places: South Korea’s sovereign-wealth fund, France’s richest man, Israeli banks and insurance companies, and exploratory talks with a Saudi developer, according to former and current executives. These were in addition to previously reported attempts to raise money in China and Qatar.
The possibility that this need for cash led Jared Kushner to directly sell out not just US ally Qatar, but dissidents in Saudi Arabia—many of whom may have been advocating for increased democracy in the hardline kingdom—would represent one of the most staggering examples of corruption in the nation’s history.
And not only would there seem to be evidence that Jared Kushner sold out the nation, our allies and the Saudi dissidents, Donald Trump backed this play at every stage, giving public support to both bin Salman’s purge and the blockade of Qatar.
Robert Mueller is apparently looking into some of Kushner’s business dealings as part of his investigation, but the level of crime that appears to have happened in this case would seem to demand its own investigation—and a great deal more attention from the broader media.